George Washington on ‘Unprincipled Men’

“However political parties may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

— George Washington, Farewell Address (Sept. 17, 1796)


Author: craigcrawford

Trail Mix Host

42 thoughts on “George Washington on ‘Unprincipled Men’”

  1. the whole world is laughing

    the guardian:

    A video has emerged that appears to show world leaders including Boris Johnson, Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron joking about Donald Trump at the opening of this week’s Nato summit in London.


    Footage shows the leaders at a function at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday evening. Johnson asks Macron: “Is that why you were late?” before Trudeau interjects: “He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top”.


    Trudeau adds: “Oh, yeah, yeah yeah. He announced … ” before he is cut off by Macron, who speaks animatedly to the group. Macron’s back is to the camera and his words are inaudible.


    It is never said whom the group are talking about, but the exchange could relate to the US president, who is known for his long, rambling press conferences and who had an unscripted 50-minute back and forth with reporters on Tuesday.


    The video was originally posted online by Sputnik News, a news agency established by the Russian government-owned news agency Rossiya Segodnya. A much longer version of the video on Sputnik’s Facebook page shows more of the interactions between guests at the reception.


    An edited version of the video, focusing on the interactions between these leaders, with the audio cleaned up and subtitles added, was posted on Twitter by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on Wednesday.


    The footage emerged after a day when Nato disunity was on full display, as Macron accused Turkey of colluding with Islamic State proxies, and Trump described Macron’s criticisms of Nato’s “brain death” as insulting and “very, very nasty”.


  2. Yep.  If you invite a vampire into your house, he’ll suck the life out of you, rendering any such invitation in the future impossible. 
    I hope Trumpsky knows he’s the butt of the joke of world leaders.  I hope he blows a gasket in public.   Cart him off to the funny farm.  

  3. pertinent to the thread topic:

    Here are the framers’ own words, recorded by the hand of James Madison, in Philadelphia on Friday, July 20, 1787, during the Constitutional Convention, emphasis added:


    Col. MASON. No point is of more importance than that the right of impeachment should be continued. Shall any man be above justice? Above all, shall that man be above it who can commit the most extensive injustice? When great crimes were committed, he was for punishing the principal as well as the coadjutors. […] Shall the man who has practised corruption, and by that means procured his appointment in the first instance, be suffered to escape punishment by repeating his guilt?

    Mr. MADISON thought it indispensable that some provision should be made for defending the community against the incapacity, negligence, or perfidy of the chief magistrate. The limitation of the period of his service was not a sufficient security. He might lose his capacity after his appointment. He might pervert his administration into a scheme of peculation [enriching himself with public money] or oppression. He might betray his trust to foreign powers. The case of the executive magistracy was very distinguishable from that of the legislature, or any other public body holding offices of limited duration. It could not be presumed that all, or even the majority, of the members of an assembly would either lose their capacity for discharging, or be bribed to betray, their trust. Besides the restraints of their personal integrity and honor, the difficulty of acting in concert for purposes of corruption was a security to the public. And if one or a few members only should be seduced, the soundness of the remaining members would maintain the integrity and fidelity of the body. I n the case of the executive magistracy, which was to be administered by a single man, loss of capacity, or corruption, was more within the compass of probable events, and either of them might be fatal to the republic.


  4. Jamie, in case you missed this, new india times has some good words re kamala in their nov. 14 article:

    this from the newindiatimes:


    VP material: Nikki Haley and Kamala Harris

    NEW YORK – It’s not just incredible but a huge credit to the highly accomplished and hardworking Indian American community, that while they represent only around 1% of the population in the United States, two women from the community, one from the Democratic party, and the other from the Republican fold, are in contention at present to be in the White House, if not as President, then as Vice President.[continues]


  5. lizzie’s campaign crew emailed this re kamala news:

    Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand — two women senators who, together, won more than 11.5 million votes in their last elections — have been forced out of this race, while billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg have been allowed to buy their way in.

    Our party and our democracy deserve better.

    Our democracy should not be for sale, and yet, billionaires have been able to use their money to try to buy this election outright.

    Running for president shouldn’t be a passion project for bored billionaires. Billionaires shouldn’t have the power to recruit their other billionaire friends into this race, or make threats about what they’ll do to the American economy if they don’t get their way.

  6. When I think of what the billionaires could have done for the funding of the campaigns of others instead of funding their own ego campaigns, it makes me truly furious.  They certainly have the right to run.  They don’t deserve and unfair advantage in the race, particularly one that featured talented and capable women and POC.  As it stands now the December debate will look like the White Savior’s Club, the only woman’s experience in government is relatively shallow and the top three in standings are aged to say the least. 




  7. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp defies Trump and appoints businesswoman to Senate

    I think we may start to see even more rebellion in the ranks outside of Congress.  Even the @GOP Senators may waffle if there is enough noise from citizens.


  8. So, previously i posited that Trump can’t resign because he’d expose himself to prosecution, but that was before i understood that being formally impeached precludes being able to be pardoned for crimes committed in office, so, maybe Trump does resign before the New Year.

  9. Ah , so now we see what the Gallagher pardon was really all about- establishing pardoning power in the popular consciousness as a total and final exoneration, regardless of the severity of alleged offenses.  i get it, now. 

    …sneaky bastards.

  10. Bink, does impeachment or impeachment and conviction preclude post-office pardons for acts done while in office?  Unless the acts are crimes there is qualified immunity from prosecution for official acts (albeit limited) anyway.

    Qualified immunity is a legal doctrine in United States federal law that shields government officials from being sued for discretionary actions performed within their official capacity, unless their actions violated “clearly established” federal law or constitutional rights.


    And I’m pretty sure if what you noted in your 12:54 post is correct, I’m not sure the public consciousness got that.

  11. Pence is probably looking at a catalog of Trump properties right now and trying to decide which one he wants to own.

  12. trump might resign if he trusts pence to pardon him. Let’s face it, pence is not ivanka.

    he’ll trust pence only when he has a gun barrel in the ferret’s mouth.

  13. So, depending on interpretation (although i think that’s rather clear), it doesn’t matter whether Trump trusts Pence to pardon him or not- if Trump is in office and the House votes to impeach, Trump exposes himself to potential prosecution of possible crimes committed by him while in office, in perpetuity.

    The Senate trial is almost irrelevant in light of that.

  14. Turley supported the impeachment of bill clinton, the nomination of bill barr, and the legalization of polygamy. Other than that, he’s been a pain in the ass for republicans, from opposing torture, to opposing warrantless surveillance, to wanting the bush/cheney crime family prosecuted for war crimes.

  15. See, if he gets impeached, and that seems very likely, all the “Constitutional crisis” stuff regarding whether or not a sitting President can be prosecuted is moot.  The Constitution says he can be.    

    (…sooner or later, that is. It’s the “later” i’d imagine Trump is worried about)

  16. After watching Pence making a totally inappropriate political speech to our troops in Afghanistan, I wouldn’t trust him to take out the garbage much less shit (for brains).

  17. That “except in cases of impeachment” language is generally thought to mean the President can’t grant a pardon for offenses resulting in an impeachment. (I’m speculating here, but I suspect that envisioned the impeachment of a VP or cabinet member or other highly placed appointee, although it could be broader than that) I think that it would apply only to the offenses that were included in the articles of impeachment.  My earlier question about impeachment versus impeachment and removal from office plays out like this:  if SFB is impeached but not convicted and removed, he would be the person granting a pardon for those offenses (sounds stupid but he’s said nothing would prevent him issuing a pardon for himself) if granted while he’s in office, and would devolve to the successor after he leaves office.  If he’s convicted and removed, it falls to the successor (Pence if he’s not impeached at the same time) and a fair reading of the constitution IMHO is almost clear that the scope of the clause would be restricted to offenses in the articles of impeachment, and, for instance, would not preclude a pardon for his shooting that guy on 5th Avenue that he used to like to talk about unless that was what led to his impeachment (assuming Congress considered murder a high crime or misdemeanor).

  18. the guardian:

    A furious Donald Trump cut short his attendance at the Nato summit in London after a group of leaders, including Boris Johnson, was caught on video ridiculing the US president at Buckingham Palace for staging lengthy press conferences.


    The notoriously thin-skinned Trump cancelled a planned press conference and branded the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, “two-faced” after he was revealed on video leading the laughter at Trump’s expense together with other US allies.


    Apparently aware of how his actions would be interpreted, Trump was then himself caught on a hot mic saying: “Oh, and then you know what they’ll say. He didn’t do a press conference. He didn’t do a press conference. That was funny when I said the guy’s two-faced, you know that.”


    The US president later tweeted: “When today’s meetings are over, I will be heading back to Washington … We won’t be doing a press conference at the close of Nato because we did so many over the past two days. Safe travels to all!”


    This evening, he posted a brief video featuring clips of his appearances during the summit under the message: “Thank you @Nato!”


    Overall the episode is only likely to underline the sense that the supposed leader of the free world is privately viewed with a mixture of mirth and alarm.


  19. …which is why the articles will be loaded-up with other offenses like obstruction of the Mueller probe and emoluments.  It makes the possibility of impeachment both a threat and an out for Trump.
    Pence is implicated in Ukrainian QPQ, also, so HE needs to resign and be pardoned by a loyalist before 2020.  Can he appoint a VP if he replaces Trump?  if so, enter President Haley.
    It’s all becoming so clear!

  20. Even though it’s in deadly earnest, Putin is having a ball with all this; but even Putin knows he can’t get greedy and go too far.

  21. Bink, we are of one mind on most of this – however, with the Senate in lock step w/ SFB I’m not pushing to broaden the articles of impeachment with counts that don’t stand a good chance of strong support among the Dem caucus.  I’d be inclined to limit it to the abuse of power/bribery with Ukraine, Obstruction of Congress and maybe one other count – and why not make that one the emoluments one?  I’m not sure exactly how that would be pursued other than while he’s in office anyway.  If I were the House committees drafting the articles I’d consult with someone like Larry Tribe to clarify the Article II pardon language and with someone like Preet Bharara about what sorts of potential criminal charges might be foreclosed if included in the impeachment articles.

  22. …looks like Venus is out tonight, if you’re quick.

    Yup, that was Venus. You got advance notice, westies.

  23. Thank you, good Sir.  It will be the next thing i read, but i need some music before my head explodes from political overload: 

    If you’re annoyed by how much i commented, today, then contribute more, tomorrow, and i won’t. ✌️

  24. If you aren’t by chance watching Rachel Maddow, she’s in the process of handing Turkey (lol- autocorrect speaks the truth – Turley) his disingenuous ass. 

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